Last weekend, I had the honor and privelege of supporting the image of Santa Claus and bolstering the belief of the many little ones in this nation. And by little ones, I mean all the dogs out there.
I played Santa at a local Petsmart and Sarah was my helper elf. You could have brought your dog in and had his picture taken with me! But, at what cost? Two framed polaroid shots for $9.95, with $5 going to support the local humane society. Surely, you’d pay that just for a picture of me in a Santa outfit.
Actually, I thought it was going to be a hard sell, even with it being me in the Santa outfit, or rather, especially with it being me. I mean, who’s going to pay almost $10 (more after tax) to have a polaroid of their pet with a Santa who can’t quite grow his own beard yet? Apparently, a lot of people. The response was enormous. We had 18 dogs get their picture taken. And one woman got two packages! I am now sitting on the mantle of 18 different homes. Maybe 36, if they send the pictures elsewhere as well.
What did the dogs ask for? Well, most of them wanted large bones, but one did ask for a cat to chase. Not all dogs enjoy being around Santa though. One german shepherd in particular didn’t know what to make of me. He approached cautiously. What is that fat red thing with the white mane? Can I eat it? Will it eat me? When he got within two feet of me, his eyes grew wide and the fierce barking started. His owner had to drag him away because he wouldn’t turn his back on me for an instant. As his owner walked him around the store getting some food and play toys, he would glare at me whenever I came into view. I think next year I’m going to add some extra padding for protection in case one of them decides to eat me.
While I did support the illusion for dogs, I crushed it for all the kids. There was one little boy whose parents wanted him in a family shot, but he wouldn’t approach me and just hid behind his father’s leg. Then, when I changed out of my Santa outfit for the next volunteer to take over, two little girls saw me take off the white wig. Ouch. Well, they’d have to find out some day, right? At least the dogs still believe.